Evernote Tip: Organize with Saved Searches

In 2013, the number of shared notebooks in my Evernote profile increased significantly – both those I share and those from others who share with me. Add that to the rather large number of existing notebooks I keep just for myself. Things were getting out of control and it was time to reorganize and consolidate notes to keep things more manageable.

Then I remembered Evernote’s Saved Search feature. Instead of having individual notebooks for each surname or research topic, I now have one “Family Research” notebook and let tags and saved searches manage the rest for me. Here’s how it works . . .

Evernote’s search feature will search both the notes’ content and its metadata. Take advantage of the tags feature [I love tags!] to add any keywords relevant to this item – surnames, location, document type, etc. Doing these things as you create a note means you will have even more flexibility with your searches.

Now, in the Evernote desktop app, place your cursor in the search box and enter the keywords you want to create your search. The search panel seen here appears as soon as you click into the search box. It offers suggestions and tags to help create your search.

Create a search query as usual.

Create a search query as usual.

Once you’ve crafted the search query you want to save, choose the Edit > Find > Save Search command to save it.

Your saved searches appear at the bottom of Evernote's search pane that appears whenever you click in the search box.

Your saved searches appear at the bottom of Evernote’s search panel.

Notice the Edit button to the far right of the selected saved search. Click it to adjust the search parameters.

Edit pane for updating a saved search.

Edit panel for updating a saved search.

This is also where you can delete a search you no longer want.

You can add saved searches to the Shortcuts section in the desktop app’s sidebar for easier access. Just drag it from the drop-down search panel to a position under Shortcuts. As you see in this example, the Henry Notes item in my shortcuts has a magnifying glass icon identifying it as a saved search.

The Henry Notes search has been added to my Shortcuts list.

The Henry Notes search has been added to my Shortcuts list.

Few items in my Shortcuts list stay there permanently. Things come and go as my priorities change. If I delete a saved search from Shortcuts it is still available to me from the search panel. I seldom have more than one saved search for a particular surname either. It’s often easier to edit the existing search, adding and removing parameters until I have the notes collection I want for the moment.

After decades of using organizational methods based on paper systems, it takes some effort to move to a digital system. Fortunately the developers at Evernote continue to provide some amazing tools which make the process of collecting and organizing our research so much easier. Now to adjust my mindset to take advantage of them.

2 comments for “Evernote Tip: Organize with Saved Searches

  1. Jen White
    January 20, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Which version of Evernote are you using? Are you on a PC, Apple, iPad etc. Evernote Business? Your screens and descriptions are a lot different from what I have! I am very interested in learning how to more effectively use my Evernote. I mostly use my iPad w/ Evernote
    premium although I do have it on my PC. Thanks for your ideas!

    • January 21, 2014 at 4:43 am

      Jen, I’m using Evernote Premium and the examples in this article are from the app installed on my Mac. I haven’t tried creating them on my iPad but I do know that once created, they show up on the iPad. Hope that helps.

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